Monthly Archives: May 2013

Time Flies and The Dinner That Wasn’t

FOOD

It’s been a fairly typical food scene around here the last two days, with the exception of dinners.

Dinner yesterday didn’t happen, and I ended up going to bed with a wicked headache.   Dinner today was supposed to be grilled fun – tofu, broccoli, and a salad…but my kids decided to sprout social lives, so it ended up being a quesadilla, baked spud, and a sunflower butter/banana sammich.  I feel a bit cheated!

Juice ingredients!  Romaine, apple, lemon, cuc, ginger.

Juice ingredients! Romaine, apple, lemon, cuc, ginger.

green juice for breakfast Thursday morning

green juice for breakfast Thursday morning

watermelon snack because...well because I had it and I love watermelon.

watermelon snack because…well because I had it and I love watermelon.

mac n peas for lunch!  Quinoa shell noodles with Teeze (GF, vegan, nut free).

mac n peas for lunch! Quinoa shell noodles with Teeze (GF, vegan, nut free).

breakfast this morning.  Because I really, really love watermelon. To which my sister commented that it's really just water and she'd still be hungry!

breakfast this morning. Because I really, really love watermelon. To which my sister commented that it’s really just water and she’d still be hungry!

quick snack when I got home tonight and realized I wasn't having grilled tofu for dinner!  Corn tortillas with a little Daiya.

quick snack when I got home tonight and realized I wasn’t having grilled tofu for dinner! Corn tortillas with a little Daiya.

a GF flatbread topped with sunflower butter and sliced bananas.  Not a glorious and creative dinner, but it'll do on a Friday night.

a GF flatbread topped with sunflower butter and sliced bananas. Not a glorious and creative dinner, but it’ll do on a Friday night.

FITNESS

Yesterday I didn’t work out.  Way to busy, and didn’t get the chance after work – and frankly, after all the travel drama and little sleep, I sure as heck wasn’t going to get up early!

Today though, I was sure to pack a gym bag before leaving the house.  An after work jaunt to the gym was in order, and I did some HIIT on the elliptical and some full-body weight training.  One of these days I want to like going to the gym.  I dislike workout DVD’s though, and I’m back to pouting about just wanting to run and not being able to.  Driving to and from the gym and parking takes time I don’t have to waste if I could just lace up and walk out my front door.  So here I am, feeling whiny again, sorry.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll finally get the spiders off my bike and go for a ride.

LIFE

Last night my son had a play.  It was called Time Flies, and it’s about 2 mayflies who meet, flirt heavily (that was hard to watch as his mom while one may fly grabbed his butt), and then learn by watching a TV special that mayflies only live 24 hours.  It was pretty hilarious and he’s up for an award for his performance!

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The night went much later than planned, so we didn’t get home until late.

Today was all meetings, all day.  I do feel like a lot was accomplished regarding one of my projects, so I certainly am not complaining about meeting hell or anything 😉

My oldest child was called and offered a shift at work tonight, and my son was invited to an overnight bowling party-thing, so we ended up not doing the dinner we had planned.  We did all sit outside and goof off for a while (basketball, soccer, beer…well…beer for just D and I…but still).  I’ve been rejoicing in the ridiculously hot weather and spending as much time as possible sitting on the deck under the big umbrella.

my view from my chair

my view from my chair

Tomorrow I have two things planned, though one may not happen.  My daughter and I (the oldest daughter) signed up for a Chesapeake Clean the Bay Day – which is a VA and MD-wide effort to clean up the waterways.  I signed us up online and the local coordinator was supposed to email me with details on where to go (I have no idea where I’d been “assigned”, other than my city), so unless it comes by the morning, I may not be volunteering after all.  Which has me really bummed out…getting more involved in things that are important to me; animal rights, social justice issues, and environmental initiatives, is something that I took home with me from VVC (Vida Vegan Con in case you didn’t know).  I won’t let this keep me from becoming involved in (or starting) activism in my area, but it still bugs me.

Tomorrow evening I’m going to our Vegan Dinner Social and Pleasure Club meet-up group!  We’re doing a Wine and Cheeze Garden party.  Since most vegan cheezes are nut based, I’m bringing a fruit plate, flax crackers, and possibly a sunflower seed spread.

Sunday, if the weather holds, D and I are going golfing.  Real golfing – not lessons or driving range.  I’m hopeful that we go.

Until then, random pics of Sammie the happy pooch and Bumble, the Ruler of the House.

she may be Ruler of the House, but she's scared to death of the great outdoors.  Too fraidy-cat to leave the deck.

she may be Ruler of the House, but she’s scared to death of the great outdoors. Too fraidy-cat to leave the deck.

my sleepyheads

my sleepyheads

 

Spiders Keep Me From Working Out

FOOD

This morning was a total smoothie on the run. Normally I use my Vitamix to make really big smoothies that get me through a full morning, but today I was running a bit late (jet lag sucks) and used my travel blender. It blends right into a to-go cup, and is just faster. It also doesn't make as much, but it was better than nothing!

Of course I had to use my VVC mug for java this morning too!

 

Lunch was a salad from the Whole Foods bar. I had meetings out in Virginia Beach all morning, so it was perfect to swing by, grab a salad, and head back to my office. I loved how colorful it was!

 

Dinner was Indian food! I haven't done an Indian meal in a while, and have been wanting to. I only did 3 dishes this time (usually I do 5). Homemade garlic naan (not pictured since I didn't eat it – would have screwed up the whole gluten thing), red lentil dhal, and brown basmati rice.

Yesterday, I made a few flavored waters. R helped me pick mint from my herb garden, and we made mint water. I also sliced up half an English cucumber for some cucumber water. Both were very tasty.
 

FITNESS

Today was beautiful. 85 degrees, sunny, and very low humidity. I really, really wanted to go for a long bike ride. Unfortunately, my bikes are in the garage (the road bike and the hybrid), and I know we have spiders in the garage, and D wasn't home to “check” my bikes for the beasts, so I was too chicken to ride. I did yoga instead. Don't judge.

I also started aching to run. Since I was diagnosed and stopped running as my primary form of exercise and stress relief, I've been trying to stay positive. Lots of yoga, spin classes, Zumba, and checking out various classes has kept me busy….but it was a day like today that made me pissed off again that I can't run. I'm hoping that if I'm symptom free by the end of summer that I can start again. I know that means starting from scratch, but right now I don't really care. I just want to lace up and go!

LIFE

Today was a rough day. I think I finally got used to the west coast time zone just in time for me to get home and need to get to work in the morning. Even my boss remarked that I looked tired in our morning meeting. Then she laughed her a$$ off when I relayed my travel hell. Yes, Albuquerque…we will meet again…only this time under MY terms….

Other than being ridiculously tired, it was a good day. I mostly caught up on what I missed while off, and my youngest has officially changed swim teams. It's a longer drive to practices, but a more disciplined team. I think she'll get much more out of it.

In the mean time, here are a couple random pictures of the day….

I collect buttons from places I travel, and D has taken to picking them up for me as well. My RunCrissieRun tote is getting pretty loaded after this last week! I have tons of new buttons to show off. Always a conversation starter when you're walking around with a Tofurky pin on your bag with the picture of a pig….

 

My fluffy Bumble getting comfy on the chair (okay, so she's more plump than fluffy, but that's okay…).

 

Today's morning picture! D still takes one of he and R when taking her to school every morning, but I haven't posted one in awhile….

 

A picture of a book cover I saw in Powell's books in Portland. Makes me secretly wonder if Bumble has been trying to kill me for the past 12 years…

 

Bum holding my hand last night because she's clearly happy I'm home…

 

I'm using a new blogging app on my iPad, so if this post looks totally jacked, I apologize!

 

Don’t Travel With Me If You Like Getting Places On Time

FOOD

Oh, where do I begin? I was in the vegan mecca of Portland, OR, and truth be told, I didn’t actually eat that much! Kinda bummed about that actually. I still haven’t tried Veggie Grill, Voodoo Donuts, or Prasad. To be honest, I’ve gotten so into this higher raw and healthy way of eating the last few months (and more specifically the last month…read why here…), that I get full so quickly I can’t overindulge too easily.

My one caveat to that was the soy-free/gluten-free brownie from Sweat Pea Bakery. I seriously need the recipe!

So now I’m home and happy to be in my kitchen. I seriously need to go grocery shopping, but I made due. Breakfast was a savory smoothie, aka blended salad. I love these.

tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, and kale

tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, and kale

Lunch took a little more thought (but not much), and I totally loved the result. Below, is the recipe.

Crissie’s Southwestern Quinoa-Guacamole Salad

Ingredients

*1 cup quinoa
*2 cups water
*1 tub guacamole (I used Whole Food’s Traditional, but feel free to use any you have lying in your fridge, or make your own).
*1 juiced lime
*1 splash (about 1 tbsp.) red wine vinegar
*1 can salt-free black beans, rinsed and drained
*1 jalapeño, diced

(if I would have had them, extra cilantro, red onion, and corn would have been great)

Directions

*cook the quinoa according to package directions. I just threw it into a rice cooker on the white rice setting.
*mix in the rest of the ingredients

I served mine on a bed of arugula, which gave it a nice peppery flavor.

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Dinner was a ridiculously last-minute thing.  I thought I was too tired to be hungry, but decided at nearly 8pm that I wasn’t.  I boiled up some quinoa shell noodles and topped with nacho flavored Teese!  Yummy comfort food!

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FITNESS

While I was gone, I did a lot of hiking around town (not real hiking, but really lots of walking) and two yoga classes. One was a Bikram class at a local studio and one was an online class in my hotel room.

I will say, I’m not loving the Bikram style. I don’t like that it’s always the exact same 26 postures done in exactly the same order. I have issues with lack of variety. And there’s no down dog, and that makes me sad.

At home today, I hit up a hot yoga class at the studio I go to about 1/2 the time. It wasn’t the best class ever, but it was what I needed, so that’s a plus.

LIFE

Well this past weekend was really, really awesome. I was at the Vida Vegan Con bloggers conference in Portland (as if you didn’t already guess that). It’s hard to describe what it was like. For me, it was a chance to be around 350 other vegan bloggers (which is just awesome), sample food I wouldn’t normally get a chance to, hike around a neat (if not wet and a little cold) city, and go to…get this….a VEGAN MINI MALL! Yep…you heard that right…I went to a freaking mini mall of all vegan things. I bought t-shirts, a brownie, and almost got a new tattoo….(almost).

More than the food, I really enjoyed the conference sessions. I’ll be posting much more in the future of how they impacted me and what I learned, but as of right now, it seems pretty darned profound.

Oh, and at the Galarama to raise funds for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, I WON THE TOFURKY LUNCHBOX.  I was starting to hover near the end of the auction to intimidate people to not outbid me.

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As awesome as my adventures were, I was more than ready to come home. Too bad I screwed that up!

So my flight left Sunday afternoon. I was at the airport MORE than ready enough (I never got off East Coast time while I was there, so waking between 4-5 am was normal).

I may (or may not) have been at a little Mexican restaurant at the airport. I may (or may not) have been having a glass or two of wine. I most definitely WAS on the phone with my Dad (fun conversation about my trip, Marriage Equality, legalization of marijuana, and Reagan as president). As it happens, I was convinced my flight was at 250 pm. I hung up with Dad around 2 to head to my gate….and missed my plane. My flight was actually at 205, and because I was chatting up my Dad, I missed the dozen or so overhead announcements looking for me. Joy.

I got there and SAW them close the airplane door. They asked me if I was Christine, and looked me in the eye when they closed it. And told me I couldn’t get on. So…of my luggage went to VA and I went to find a place to stay by the hotel. And to look forward to wearing the same clothes for at least 2 days….

Anyway, I did eventually make it home (a day or so late), and I got to see New Mexico (don’t ask, but it seems beautiful). I missed one more day of work than planned, and….I’m tired.

Signing off as a girl who’s just incredibly happy to finally be home (and to take a shower and change my clothes…..)

Portland, Baby!

I know I typically have a standard format for my blog, but today I’m going to shake it up a bit and ditch the normal layout.

I’m in Portland, Oregon for the second ever Vida Vegan Con vegan bloggers conference. Imagine hundreds of vegans. In one place. It’s a beautiful sight to behold for sure! Food kicks butt too.

I arrived around 1130 am yesterday, and took the train downtown to my hotel. It’s so wonderful staying in a town with a great mass transit system. Trains, trolleys, and busses get you from one end to the other with ease, and I’m jealous.

There was an Unofficial VVC meet and great at the White Owl Social Club, and I had a chance to “meet” several people I’ve “known” through blogging, etc, for some time. It was lovely. After was dinner at Portabello’s all vegan awesomeness, where we split several dishes. Then for me, it was off to bed. I was beat!

Conference started today with check-in, including a Swag Bag O Wonder stocked full of amazing foods, recipes, and coupons. Then it was vendor samples, and the sessions began.

Gena from Choosing Raw did a great talk about blog writing. She walked us through some common blogging mistakes (as a former Editor, she definitely knew what she was talking about!) I also realized that I do a LOT of the blunders she mentioned, so I’m going to have to think on that.

There’s much more to see, learn, and do, and I’m looking forward to it all. I’ll leave you all with some pics from the last 2 days. Hope you’re all having as amazing of a weekend as I am! If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, you can find tons of great updates and pics with #VVC2013

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Will the Real Bootcamp Please Stand Up?

FOOD

So first of all, the raw granola bars turned out amazingly.  I really have to make a big batch of these before all my spring and summer travels start (hell0…they start in less than 3 days!).  Besides, my oldest keeps taking them all and I’m almost out…

Breakfast Sunday morning was a cup of coffee and a green juice.  Celery, apple, lemon, parsley, and kale.  Lunch was a BAS from Whole Foods that I picked up after yoga (sorry, no picture of either!).  Dinner is a raw pizza!  The crust is a zucchini/buckwheat/oat recipe (slightly modified) from Chef Amber Shea.  The sauce is a raw marinara, and topped with onion, pineapple, garlic, fresh basil (that I’m growing!), and bell pepper.  After starting the crust in the dehydrator around 10am, I flipped it, dried it a few more hours, then topped with my toppings and put back in for an hour to warm up a bit.  Very, very yummy!

after making the dough in the Vitamix (a combo of fresh made oat flour - also in the Vita, zucchini, spices, and buckwheat among a few ingredients)...I spread out a large crust on the dehydrator and popped that sucker in.

after making the dough in the Vitamix (a combo of fresh made oat flour – also in the Vita, zucchini, spices, and buckwheat among a few ingredients)…I spread out a large crust on the dehydrator and popped that sucker in.

fresh tomato marinara ingredients going into the Vitamix to make my pizza sauce

fresh tomato marinara ingredients going into the Vitamix to make my pizza sauce

bell pepper, onion, pineapple, and fresh basil for my pizza toppings!

bell pepper, onion, pineapple, and fresh basil for my pizza toppings!

not the prettiest, but for my first attempt at a raw pizza, it was very good and I'll definitely make it again.

not the prettiest, but for my first attempt at a raw pizza, it was very good and I’ll definitely make it again.

I also made some sweet potato hummus and a few salads to keep for the week.

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This morning was a green juice for breakfast (I actually made this one instead of buying it!), and a snack of Suzie’s quinoa cakes topped with the sweet potato hummus and pickles!

romaine, collard leaves, apples, lemon, cucumber, and ginger

romaine, collard leaves, apples, lemon, cucumber, and ginger

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FITNESS

I actually slept in yesterday (930 am!), so I really missed any opportunity to hit up a Bikram yoga class.  After checking out local yoga and YMCA classes, I decided to go to a Hot Vinyasa yoga class.

It’s been awhile since I’ve worn a HR monitor to one of those, but since I want to compare it to Bikram, I did.

I want to start off by saying this was a tough class.  It was 60 minutes, but for those who don’t know what vinyasa is, it’s a constant flow from one posture to another.  I had a few moments where I felt I was pushing past my comfort zone, and struggled for about 5 minutes where I took a few child’s pose breaks.

I was shocked (and disappointed) to see my HR monitor only register 247 calories in an hour.  I really felt I worked even harder than I did at the Bikram class, but just a portion of the burn.  Wow.  I did take the watch off for a bit, but put it next to my mat, so I’m guessing the monitor around my chest was still transmitting.

hot vinyasa class.  I think I got robbed on this....

hot vinyasa class. I think I got robbed on this….

This morning I hit up a Boot Camp class at the Y.  I figure I have this membership, right…may as well use it to check out group classes other than spin.

I will say that, having been in the military personally, my idea of boot camp is FAR different from the suburbanites I was in class with.  Quite frankly, it wasn’t my thing.  I was disappointed in the class, and while I got a pretty good burn (368 cal in 45 min), I didn’t feel very “worked out” by the end.  I’ll check out a few others with different instructors to see if I take to them any better.

sorry for the dark pic....it was still sort of dark-ish and overcast out

sorry for the dark pic….it was still sort of dark-ish and overcast out

LIFE

Life was quiet this past weekend.  D was feeling a bit under the weather, so we really all stayed home.  A had volunteering Saturday and Sunday and worked Saturday night, so other than that, it was grocery shopping, farmer’s market hopping, laundry, and kitchen fun.

R swam with her new perspective team again tonight, and it’s so very different.  She seems to like it more, so we’ll see if she tries out and makes the switch!

T minus 2 1/2 days to Portland and Vida Vegan Con 2013!!!

I Have a Hippie Box (or three….), and One Extra Adult in the House

FOOD

I am relegated to the garage.  Sort of.  You see, I am 1/5 of a family, and while the rest of them are pretty good at eating well, none of them eat like me…..vegan, lots of raw, and food I wouldn’t have recognized as a kid growing up in the Midwest (we’re not exactly known for our tempeh in Wisconsin!).

We have one fridge, which I mostly dominate with fruits and veggies, a deep freezer which is mostly bulk soups, and a pantry that is mostly canned goods, teas, flours, breads, tortillas, etc.  However, I have a lot of “other food”…we’re talking bulk dried beans, rice paper rolls, Ener-G egg replacement for baking, a plethora of rices, etc…that don’t fit in the house.  So…I have hippie boxes in the attached garage (it’s what we’ve taken to calling “mom’s food”).  I started with one, and now have three.  One is exclusively for spices (I’m a spice snob).  One of these days, I’ll get to have all my food live in the house.  Someday 🙂

hippie boxes, plus boxes of bulk channa dahl and soy beans (for homemade soymilk), and buckwheat groats

hippie boxes, plus boxes of bulk channa dahl and soy beans (for homemade soymilk), and buckwheat groats

Yesterday I had a raw wrap for breakfast (typical collard leaf stuffed with tons of veggies, guacamole, and pickles), some pineapple for a snack, miso soup and sushi with D for lunch, and some quinoa puffed cakes (like rice cakes) with guacamole and pickles for dinner.

sweet potato, avocado, and broccoli rolls

sweet potato, avocado, and broccoli rolls

Suzie's cakes with guac and pickles!  I love that combo...

Suzie’s cakes with guac and pickles! I love that combo…

Today was a Whole Foods salad and a green juice for breakfast, some Post Punk Kitchen red Thai curry rice and kale soup for lunch, and popcorn for dinner (no I’m not proud of that one, but it is what it is).  Snacked on watermelon, grapes, and pineapple as snacks.

garlicky kale, spinach, tomato and onion salad, and some roasted spuds

garlicky kale, spinach, tomato and onion salad, and some roasted spuds

green juice

green juice

first stage of the soup.  Only change I made from the recipe was to use short-grain brown rice and red kale

first stage of the soup. Only change I made from the recipe was to use short-grain brown rice and red kale

a BIG bowl!

a BIG bowl!

I have a batch of granola bars from Practically Raw Desserts going in the dehydrator (based on the batter, these are going to be awesome….), and I have a ton more planned (raw breads, kale chips, more desserty things) throughout the weekend.  I’ve been moving more and more towards higher raw eating, and always love finding new ways to make it fun and interesting.

FITNESS

I’m a big fan of hot yoga, as any regular reader knows.  For some reason, we don’t have many non-hot studios around here, so I think I got into hot yoga out of necessity more than desire, but I do enjoy it.  Especially now that I’m not running, I appreciate more the harder workout that hot yoga is for me.

That said, when I travel, finding regular hot yoga studios is more difficult.  Hot yoga is essentially “regular” hatha or ashtanga (or other style normally done in a non-heated environment) yoga done in a heated room.  The more popular version of hot yoga is Bikram yoga, which is a more popular/trendy style of 26 specific postures done over 90 minutes in a 105 degree/40% humidity room.  After years of doing yoga in my area, Bikram has come to town.  I checked it out yesterday….

So here’s my take on it.  Bikram style is a very specific sequence; it’s always the same 26 postures done twice each.  The room is always lit brightly, carpeted, and there is no music.  It’s sort of military-meets-yoga style to me (as a survivor of real military boot camp, I feel I can say this!).

Other hot yoga classes I usually go to are in dimly lit rooms, heated from 95-105 degrees, never carpeted, though floors vary, and the sequences vary as widely as the whims of the instructors.  Sometimes I love them, other times I don’t.  There’s always music – some traditional yoga music, and some upbeat modern (those are my favorite), and they vary in length from 60-75-90 minutes.

The jury is still out in how I feel about one vs. the other.  I certainly was a hot sweaty mess when I left the Bikram class, but I’m not sure (based on my HR monitor) that I actually burned any more calories than normal.  I got a little light-headed in the last 10 minutes, and didn’t like that water breaks were prescribed vs taking them when you need in my other classes.  That said, I liked the instructor and her explanations of everything we were doing.  None of the poses were new to me, so I think that helped.  I was also warned that the first class isn’t pleasant, and to give it a few.  I’m thinking about sticking to this style for a month to see if I notice anything different – especially if I get stronger due to always doing the same pose sequence.  I’ll keep ya posted on that.

my Bikram burn

my Bikram burn

LIFE

Well, the most notable thing for me is that yesterday I woke up the mother of 3 kids, and went to sleep the mother of 2 kids and 1 adult.  Yep…my oldest turned 18.  I was fine about it all until I went to bed (which was close to 1 am since I was waiting up for her to get home from her night out!) and started thinking about A being 18.  It’s cool…though she’s still a kid with a lot to learn.  She doesn’t always think she has anything left to learn, but I was no different at her age.

Other than that, I went to Whole Foods and made the rounds at some farmer’s market’s and U-Pick Strawberry fields.  I live in SE Virginia, which is largely tobacco and cotton areas.  Finding a big farmer’s market around here isn’t easy (though you can’t tell people around here that the Virginia Beach farmer’s market is small and a little sad….).  I grew up in WI where farmer’s markets were as big as a small mall.  *sigh

Anyway, I made the trek to a few in North Carolina (I live pretty close to the state line), and came home with a trunk full of fun.  Fruits, veggies, spicy pickles (yes…I love pickles), and juices.  All in all, a really good haul!

one of the farmer's markets had these little wheel barrow shopping carts!

one of the farmer’s markets had these little wheel barrow shopping carts!

D isn’t feeling so hot, so while he took a nap, I finally watched Tron with my youngest R.  We made popcorn and enjoyed the movie very much.  The rest of the weekend will be wash and prepping foods for the coming busy week!  Oh…and I leave for Portland Thursday!!!

Nothing But a Circus Around Here

FOOD

Okay, so I’ll have the obligatory pictures of yummy eats in a second, but today I want to talk about the lessons I’ve learned from food in the past month or so.

First of all, my joint pain is all but gone the past two weeks.  I had some soreness in my right hand when I had to do a bit of handwriting one day (laptop battery died and I forgot my iPad, so I was forced to go the old-fashioned way – pen and paper!).  But that said – it was only very mildly sore, and nothing like the locked up and unable to move and severe pain that I’d been having.  Aside from that one episode, my joints have been great.

What does this say to me?  It confirms my very strong belief that food is the ultimate medicine.  You can harm or heal your body through food.  You can eat yourself to death and disease, or to health.  I will put the caveat that there are circumstances where food has little to nothing to do with disease, but I don’t think a good clean diet can ever HURT you the way a bad diet will always hurt you.  Take me for instance.  My autoimmune condition is genetic, yet my food choices are helping me manage it drug-free.

The hives are still hit or miss.  It’s nowhere near as bad as it was back in January/February, but I still get boughts of them that are extremely itchy and uncomfortable.  Here is what I’ve learned about that…

Hives, first of all, are a histamine reaction and we’re not exactly sure why I’m having them.  Could it be related to the joint fun?  Maybe.  Is it allergies to foods or environment?  Possibly.  Does anyone feel confident they know why I’m getting them?  Hell no.

I’ve had days where I don’t get any.  When looking at my food journals, those are the days I ate the cleanest with mostly or all raw foods, limited caffeine, etc.  If I slip up and have something with gluten (like today), I will get some intense hives.  I can’t make a positive correlation yet, but I think there’s a connection to foods causing my hives.  I’ll keep watching it.

Oh, and ice packs are the best thing I’ve found for the hives.  Showers and any heat make them worse, creams don’t help (they make it worse by trapping in body heat).  So for your future reference if you ever find yourself with a back full of hives – ice it.  Trust me.

Okay.  Pic time.

raw wrap

raw wrap

new juice line being made by my Whole Foods

new juice line being made by my Whole Foods

blueberry and coconut smoothie

blueberry and coconut smoothie

this week's favorite.  It's a green smoothie with banana, strawberry, pineapple, flax, and romaine.

this week’s favorite. It’s a green smoothie with banana, strawberry, pineapple, flax, and romaine.

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BAS with romaine, arugula, cuc, carrot, cauliflower, red onion, cherry tomatoes, a spicy tahini dressing, and some grilled artichoke.

BAS with romaine, arugula, cuc, carrot, cauliflower, red onion, cherry tomatoes, a spicy tahini dressing, and some grilled artichoke.

today's lunch bento stack!  Raw collard wrap, chopped veggie snack, and some fruit (Muscat grapes and pineapple).

today’s lunch bento stack! Raw collard wrap, chopped veggie snack, and some fruit (Muscat grapes and pineapple).

FITNESS

It’s been a very hectic week, so getting in my workouts has been an experiment in time management.  Early morning yoga at home with one of my Yoga Today videos and Zumba on the Xbox have been the order of the week.

I did make it to a spin class with AZ this evening after work.  It was ok….I wasn’t the sweat ball I normally am, and my calorie burn was only 300 for 45 minutes, compared to the 500+ of the past few.  If my butt and leg muscles are sore tomorrow, I’ll feel like it was a good lower-body strength session more than any cardio….oh well.

I see my trainer tomorrow morning.

LIFE

The big life stuff the past few days have been about my oldest daughter.  First of all, she’s turning 18 tomorrow, but that’s a whole other post!

I’ve mentioned before that she’s an artist – her specific medium being fashion.  She had her Senior Show this past week, and quite frankly, all of my energies have been there.  Everything came together in the end, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried that it would all fall apart!

The show was inspired by the circus, and all of the outfits represent different circus things – there’s an elephant, lion tamer, ring leader, big tent, acrobat, poodle, clown, and a mime.

She had eight models (friends) and three “helpers” during the show.  She produced all the art work and outfits, choreographed everything, selected the music, etc.  The rest of the family helped do everything else!  Catering, moving walls, communicating with parents, hosting a “fitting party”, helping find a photographer and videographer, and basically keep her on track (yes…we made a color coded project plan).  It was insane and amazing, and I’m incredibly proud of her.

Believe it or not – we took VERY few pictures.  There was a photographer and videographer documenting the whole thing (local community college students – keeping in theme that this was a student show), so we were mingling and keeping everything together.  Here are a few, but they don’t come close to capturing the show.  Perhaps I’ll post more when we get the files from the show.

we had to rent a Uhaul and pick up 5 false walls so A could create a runway and have walls to hang her art.  And then take them back.  All in the same day.  And they're heavy.

we had to rent a U-Haul and pick up 5 false walls so A could create a runway and have walls to hang her art. And then take them back. All in the same day. And they’re heavy.

the space that the museum donated for the show

the space that the museum donated for the show

the awesome Chihuly glass centerpiece of the room

the awesome Chihuly glass centerpiece of the room

the entrance to the runway

the entrance to the runway

drawings (4 are of outfits in the show)

drawings (4 are of outfits in the show)

more drawings (and the top 4 are the other outfits in the show)

more drawings (and the top 4 are the other outfits in the show)

dress rehearsal

dress rehearsal

a few of the girls (including A) doing set up before the show

a few of the girls (including A) doing set up before the show

the models in their circus-themed creations!

the models in their circus-themed creations!  My daughter would be the one on the end in the blue dress – which she made too.

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Other than that, sleep and relaxing are the goals for the next few days before life gets hectic for other reasons (like traveling, graduation, more traveling, and the whole “shipping a kid off to college” thing…..).

 

Falling for Hiking

FOOD

I honestly can’t remember everything of the past week.  My guess?  Smoothies, salads, and fruit are mostly likely what I ate.  Nothing is standing out though, so no amazing new (or accidental) creations.

I was lazy a few days.  This was my dinner one night...

I was lazy a few days. This was my dinner one night…

avocado and pickle on a rice cake!  I do so love this combination.

avocado and pickle on a rice cake! I do so love this combination.

a greens and berry smoothie

a greens and berry smoothie

FITNESS

I was all over the map last week when it came to fitness.  I’m trying to find my groove-thing without running, and I found myself pouting more than once about how life would be so much easier if I could just go run.

I did, however, get to go on a beautiful hike on Saturday.  A part of a meet-up group, R and I went with about 20-30 other hikers to a place called Crabtree Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 4 hours from home.  My HR monitor said it was 1200 calories burned in those couple of hours.

I live in a region called Tidewater.  To give you some type of explanation….it’s flat.  Sea level or below, it’s flat, marshy, wet, and flat.  The 1-2 hikes I’ve been on haven’t been the most fun, and I was really trying to find out what the big deal about hiking is.  Turns out, just a few hours away is the Piedmont region (as R was lecturing to me on the drive), and it’s NOT flat.  It made for a much more beautiful and challenging hike, and I’m starting to understand why people like hiking.

On a personal note, R flew to the front of the group and was the first to reach the summit.  I was somewhere near the back!  We had lunch and then hiked back down.  It really was an awesome time.  I’m glad she’s my hiking buddy.

R ready to hit the trails!

R ready to hit the trails!

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an her at the summit with the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains behind her

and her at the summit with the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains behind her

LIFE

Since R and I had woken up just before 5am on Saturday to get to the group hike, we spent the night in Richmond at a hotel.  We went swimming, had dinner, and then curled up in bed watching the Harry Potter movie marathon on ABC Family until we fell asleep – around 830 or so.

Sunday we met up with D, A, and M in Williamsburg and did a little shopping at the outlet mall and then over to Busch Gardens, where we had a blast (as always).  R is tall enough to rider her first big rollercoaster, and she loved it!  Yay…looks like we’re a rollercoaster family!

all 5 of us

all 5 of us

my girls....

my girls….

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D and I

D and I

M and R - about to go on their ride!

M and R – about to go on their ride!

random picture of Bumble, who can get comfy and sleep anywhere....

random picture of Bumble, who can get comfy and sleep anywhere….

So, all in all, my Mother’s Day weekend was absolutely amazing!

Insomniacs of the World Unite

FOOD

Dinner last night was really good.  I marinated some portabella mushroom caps in some homemade veggie broth, minced garlic, and balsamic vinegar for about a half hour.  The D threw them on the grill for me!

I served them up in a big collard leaf (instead of a burger bun) and topped with cabbage, red onion, sliced tomato, and sauerkraut.  I was going to make a quinoa salad for a side dish, but was too lazy and just ate two of my shroom burger wraps instead.

shroom burger wrap

shroom burger wrap

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I had absolutely no appetite today.  I had very little sleep, and I find that I’m either starving the next day or completely disinterested in food.  I was the latter.

I didn’t have anything for breakfast, but lunch was some reheated lentils and rice from dinner Friday night.  I don’t think I blogged about it, but it was my usual.  2 cups lentils, 1 cup brown rice, 2 tbsp. of spice (I usually go with something Middle Eastern, and this was no change – I used a Baharat spice blend).  Pop it in the rice cooker and that’s all she wrote.

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I heated up a bowl and topped it with some shredded cabbage and hot sauce.

Late afternoon I had a plain baked potato with pepper.  Boring, but I wasn’t in the mood for anything fancier.

For dinner, I ended up making a savory green smoothie.  4-5 Roma tomatoes, 1/4 yellow bell pepper, a chunk of red onion (I’d guess about 1-2 tbsp.), a celery stalk, a large carrot, and a few big handfuls of spinach.  Into the Vitamix and then into my belly.

before blending!  Can you imagine sitting down to a bowl of this?  Sometimes I can...but today, I blended that BAS and drank it instead!  Took much less effort...

before blending! Can you imagine sitting down to a bowl of this? Sometimes I can…but today, I blended that BAS and drank it instead! Took much less effort…

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FITNESS

I knew when I woke up this morning that it’d be a rough day.  I had about 2 hours of sleep and needed to focus.  So….I went to a spinning class at the Y.  I figured I needed to get my blood pumping to wake my #$% up, and it worked.  I can’t get over how many people workout that early in the morning.  Crazy.

good burn in that class this morning!

good burn in that class this morning!

Anyway, my bum is still sore from Saturday’s class with AZ, but I threw on some padded bike shorts and muscled through it.

LIFE

I was up late working last night (until 1 am or so), and since my brain was spinning, I had no hope of actually falling asleep.  As it happens, a very good friend of mine was also unable to sleep, so we chatted for a bit in the middle of the night, which was actually really nice.  I finally dozed off sometime around 330.  I’m surprisingly awake today, so that’s good at least!

It’s a typical Monday evening, though I’m home earlier than usual (as in 7pm instead of 8 pm!).  We’re all starting to wind down and for me personally – I’m really looking forward to going to bed as soon as possible!

This Isn’t a “Circle of Life Kinda Thing”

It’s a Lion King reference.  I hope you get it.  If not, the title may be lost on you….

FOOD

It’s been a simple few days.  Oatmeal again for breakfast yesterday and an early Cinco de Mayo dinner of lentil tacos for dinner (tacos are easier to feed masses of people).

Irish oats with blueberries and apple pie spice this time.

Irish oats with blueberries and apple pie spice this time.

Today was a green smoothie for breakfast and a salad and coconut veggie curry soup for lunch.  Dinner will be some grilled mushrooms and a quinoa salad.

FITNESS

I met up with AZ for a spinning class yesterday morning.  It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done one of those, and it was a brutal workout.  Even my friend, who spins fairly regularly, thought it was a tough one.

I wore my HR monitor, and it had me at 560 calories in one hour.  Crazy.

Today I did a zumba class at the Oceanfront as part of the Healing Life hippie festival.  It was cold and windy, so the dancing warmed me up.

LIFE

It’s been a nice weekend.  The oldest had her fitting party last night, and it ended up only one girl could spend the night, so it wasn’t as chaotic as I thought it would be.

While the girls hung out, D and I actually sat down long enough together to watch TV.  We started watching House of Cards, which is a Netflix-only political drama with Kevin Spacey.  So far we’ve watched 3 episodes and are loving it.

Today I went to a vegan meet-up at a hippie festival down at the Oceanfront.  I will be honest, I was disappointed.  It wasn’t well-organized (no meeting time/location…just the generic 10-6pm hours of the festivities), so I ended up wandering around by myself.  I don’t know if it was the wind and cold, but there wasn’t much there.  I did stay for a while, talked to the few vendors that were there, and watched a class on sprouting, but overall as a meet-up, it was nothing like the previous ones I’ve been to.  Oh well…they can’t all be awesome I suppose.

a flag football tourney was going on while I was there, and I stopped to watch them for a bit.

a flag football tourney was going on while I was there, and I stopped to watch them for a bit.

random ocean shot

random ocean shot

walking into the festival

walking into the festival

I finally planted my herbs this afternoon too.  One pot has 2 basil plants in it, and the other has a Thai basil, mint, and oregano.  Hope I don’t kill those.

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I’m really excited about next weekend.  R, M, and I (and possibly D, but not sure yet – he may be going camping) are going to Crabtree Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains to go hiking!  It’s a group hike of about 3 miles total; 1.5 miles up and 1.5 miles back.  It’s graduated with a well maintained trail, and was told it’s good for kids.  I can only imagine how beautiful it’s going to be.  I think if I’m going to get into hiking, I want it to at least be pretty 🙂

Finally, a few goofy pet pictures to end the post…

D messing with Bumble.  She's clearly not amused.

D messing with Bumble. She’s clearly not amused.  I kept imagining her thinking “I’m not Simba, you jackass”

A and her friends went to Skinny Dip and brought the pups back some froyo.  She was a happy pups.

A and her friends went to Skinny Dip and brought the pups back some froyo. She was a happy pups.

Both Sammie and Bumble are getting pretty old.  Sammie will be 11 in July and Bumble will be 14.  Bum has always been an inside cat, but we’re starting to let her be in the yard as long as we’re there too.  She loves to explore, but we don’t want her running about the neighborhood.  She’s also a bit of a frady-cat, and hasn’t really wandered too far.  Today, for example, it took her forever just to walk out the back door….

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looking both ways is something we all should do.....

looking both ways is something we all should do…..

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